Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's Time To Stop Pretending There's A Liberal Media

Where to begin, where to begin...  On October 30 Comedy Central comedians Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert hosted a rally: Restore Sanity/Keep Fear Alive. It was a three hour event with over 250,000 in attendance far eclipsing the 87,000 who attended Mormon Glenn Beck's Beckevangelist Event on August 28. The 30th was a beautiful day, an awesome line-up of musicians were assembled to entertain the excited crowd. Lots of smiling faces, a lot of good humor and like I said a lot of good music. All in all, a wonderful day. As the event was concluding, Stewart spoke for about 15 minutes on how we can restore sanity and here is where my issue begins. In my heart of hearts I believe Mr. Stewart who I have very high regard for went overboard in trying to prove he's a middle-of-the-road guy. Yes, he said some incredibly powerful things that are applicable to all, "But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies." Yet he also wanted to equate equal blame to both sides and this is where I take issue. FNC has spent nearly 15 years dividing this country with loud personalities telling us that liberals are Marxists, communists, anti-American, etc... A montage played in the background of Fox's most egregious personalities alternating with snippets of MSNBC hosts. What Stewart failed to mention was that the Fox hosts are "keeping fear alive" and the MSNBC hosts are trying to "restore sanity," by debunking the myths perpetrated by the likes of Fox. While Stewart himself has portrayed the Tea Party as racists, and I believe a large portion of them are as we've all seen their signs; he took aim at Ed Schultz for doing the same thing and then claimed that it's an insult for people to not see the difference in the tea party and actual racism. Sorry Mr. Stewart, that was a total BS comment and something that you're also guilty of. As a matter of fact, Jon has actually told Fox to "f#%k off" on a few occasions. Does the MSNBC gang ever go over the top? Sure they do, but they remain grounded in the world of reality. I know, I know some will claim it's because I view the world from their viewpoint and while that may be true, they're not constantly being dinged for making stuff up and when they do get something wrong, they own up to it and apologize. At the end of the day I found myself wondering what the reactions from those on the montage would be and it was pretty much as I expected. Here goes:
  • Keith Olbermann tweeted respectfully, what he does is not the same, but in a gesture toward “lowering the volume" in news coverage, suspended his "Worst Person in the World" segment.
  • On Monday Bill O'Reilly claimed that after Tuesday nights election, all the MSNBC hosts were going to commit suicide.
  • Rachel Maddow said well done to Jon Stewart (she was noticeably absent from the montage).
  • Glenn Beck said it was the equivalent of a high-school play; it was not good and referring to much of the rally as nonsense.
Guess which side understood the message...the side not responsible for the insanity.

So along came Tuesday's mid-terms, the Democrats were crushed in the House. We're now looking at having an angry, orange, alcoholic named John Boehner third in line for the presidency. I hope President Obama on VP Biden have the good sense to not be going out for hamburgers anymore. The crazy teabaggers won 34 seats I believe. I am so discouraged by our electorate who continue to vote against their own best interests. The Republican Party has a lower favorability than the Dems by 8 points, but they put Republicans back in power because they're mad the Dems who couldn't fix an 8 year disaster in 21 months. If they'd been paying attention they'd know the gridlock was the Republican senate filibustering everything congress passed. I guess the guy we lost in the senate who will be missed by liberals is Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. The man is a straight shooter who was outspent 4 to 1 by billionaire Ron Johnson as Feingold does not take special interest money. He was painted as a rubber stamp for Obama and Pelosi and nothing could be further from the truth. He said no to many bills because they did not go far enough and he'll always have my personal thanks for having the good sense to vote against The Patriot Act all those years ago. Then there's reduce the deficit idea Reps ran on, but they're ready to immediately add $700B to it by extending the Bush tax cuts for not just the middle class, but those struggling Top 2%ers. I know it's been suggested that this country goes through cycles, but we've never had a black president and his election has sent many people totally over the edge. I have true fear in what Republicans can and are willing to do with an unjustly terrified electorate. Sidenote, at the end of Tuesday evening all MSNBC commentators were accounted for and doing well.

Then Friday came along and brought forth another stake through the heart news for liberals. MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann for making contributions of $2400 each to three to Democratic candidates without obtaining prior approval from his superiors. Keith told his bosses he didn't know he was barred from making campaign contributions. Now he and Phil Griffin are playing the who's is bigger game. Griffin wants him to apologize on-air for his mea culpa and he's resisting. My guess is part of Keith's hesitance is that Joe Scarborough donated $5000 to a Republican congressional candidate in April as well as taking place in a fund raiser for that candidate. Can't really blame the guy, seems like a double standard. Even Bill Kristol thinks this suspension is absurd. Rachel Maddow seemed to be in an uncomfortable position Friday as he is her mentor and friend.  She stated that it is NBC/MSNBC policy to get permission for donations first, but the point has been made, put Keith back on the air. She's getting slammed this weekend from Keith supporters for a milquetoast response, but she's really in a tight spot. I'm sure she would've liked to stand in solidarity and not do her show. I would've been proud of her for that as well, but folks need to understand she's still a "kid" in this arena. She doesn't have millions socked away where walking away is an actual option. This is her dream job. I get it when conservatives lack the empathy to put themselves in someone else's shoes, but it's one of the things I believed set us apart. When the dust settles, maybe Keith and Phil can go on the air together, issue a joint statement and donate a "fine" to a charity like the Free Health Clinics. I can't believe MSNBC really wants to lose it's biggest star unless this is a nod to Comcast in what the future holds after their acquisition, which I'm not at all happy about. Hopefully we'll see him reappear sooner than later. At around 3:30 today he tweeted, Greetings From Exile! A quick, overwhelmed, stunned THANK YOU for support that feels like a global hug & obviously left me tweetless XO

Also worth reading: MSNBC's Disgrace by Senator Bernie Sanders

And to wrap up my week of political downs, Friday night Bill Maher at least stood in agreement with my Restore Sanity Rally opinion. Here is the New Rule:

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